DES MOINES  | Iowa Secretary of State Matt Schultz lacked the authority to create a set of rules that allowed his office to remove voters from a list in certain circumstances, a Polk County judge ruled Wednesday.

Judge Scott Rosenberg also ordered the Secretary of State’s office to cover the legal fees of the American Civil Liberties Union of Iowa Foundation and the League of United Latin American Citizens of Iowa, which brought the suit.

"We are reviewing the ruling, and we plan to appeal,” Schultz spokesman Chance McElhaney said.

At issue was Schultz’s proposed rules that would allow his office to compare voter lists to a federal database that included citizenship information.

Iowa Code allows the cancellation of registration in six specific circumstances: when a registered voter dies; when the voter votes in another jurisdiction; when the voter requests cancellation in writing; when the registered voter is a convicted felon; when the voter has been declared incompetent or when the registration record has been inactive for two successive general elections under certain circumstances.

"Since the section expressly mentions six cancellation occurrences, the omission of a citizenship provision implies that (Schultz) is not authorized to promulgate a rule that cancels a registered voter’s registration based upon that criterion,” Rosenberg wrote in his decision.

Joe Henry, president of the League of United Latin American Citizens of Iowa, said the ruling was a victory for Hispanics.

"On behalf of the Latino community in Iowa, we are so thankful that justice has prevailed,” he said in a prepared statement. "The right to vote has been preserved by Judge Rosenberg's ruling!"

Statehouse reporter for The Courier

(1) comment

jondoe
jondoe

Let's keep track of how much Sgt. Schultz (R) spends on his never-ending campaign to eliminate voters that don't look like him.

Welcome to the discussion.

Keep it Clean. Please avoid obscene, vulgar, lewd, racist or sexually-oriented language.
PLEASE TURN OFF YOUR CAPS LOCK.
Don't Threaten. Threats of harming another person will not be tolerated.
Be Truthful. Don't knowingly lie about anyone or anything.
Be Nice. No racism, sexism or any sort of -ism that is degrading to another person.
Be Proactive. Use the 'Report' link on each comment to let us know of abusive posts.
Share with Us. We'd love to hear eyewitness accounts, the history behind an article.